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    nashmetal100's Avatar
    nashmetal100 Posts: 12, Reputation: 3
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    #1

    Sep 23, 2018, 09:26 AM
    How to deal with this problem?
    So I recently got in trouble for filming something on private property, trying to get some shots of the beach for a video, even though there was no sign or fence indicating that it was private property. I had to go to the police department for trespassing and wanted my the memory card in my camera back after being released. But they didn't approve.

    Something felt off about their refusal so I contacted a lawyer and found out that, sure enough, it's illegal and against my rights to withhold my property after being cleared of charges.

    So a few days later, I went back to the precinct with the lawyer and had a discussion with the commissioner and the police officer that detained me. But despite being informed of my right to see the footage, they pretty much said "Screw you, we're not doing it." and that was that.

    So then we went to the next level and tried to a get a judge to look at the case, but things got even worse. The judge ended up siding with the police department, despite it clearly being against the law, and I still don't have my camera back.

    So my question is: what can I, an average citizen, do about a corrupt local government without having to go all the way to the state level?
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 53,915, Reputation: 10852
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    #2

    Sep 23, 2018, 12:47 PM
    A formal complaint, or better a formal lawsuit. A better lawyer? Maybe going all the way to the state level!
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,278, Reputation: 7690
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    #3

    Sep 23, 2018, 02:21 PM
    Tresspass can not be convicted without either a prior warning or the property being posted. The most that a court can do (at least in most states in the US) is issue you a warning.

    Any evidence taken, like the card, must be returned after the court case is decided.

    Your lawyer should know that.

    So you plead not guilty, demand a trial and go from there.
    nashmetal100's Avatar
    nashmetal100 Posts: 12, Reputation: 3
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    #4

    Sep 23, 2018, 02:24 PM
    My lawyer and I know that. So does the judge and police. But they're blatantly not following the law. And if I protest I'll get arrested so I'm trying to figure out how to overcome this. For what it's worth. I live in this really ty, corrupt city in New Jersey where every politician is obviously corrupt and if anyone tries to do anything about it, they're arrested. A lawsuit and better lawyer was mentioned. What judge is going to admit that he deserves to be sued? And no matter how good the lawyer is, the outcome is still the same because it's the same judge. He made that quite clear when he told me "I am the judge. You are the defendant. Don't question me. I can make or break your life from here on out." This is the craziest, most surreal thing I've ever experienced in my life.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,278, Reputation: 7690
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    #5

    Sep 23, 2018, 02:45 PM
    Your lawyer files an appeal of the first judges ruling. Move it to the next higher court.
    So you are arrested, you post bail, they can not convict, arrest is just bluff or threats to keep you quiet.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 53,915, Reputation: 10852
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    #6

    Sep 23, 2018, 03:12 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Fr_Chuck View Post
    Your lawyer files an appeal of the first judges ruling. Move it to the next higher court.
    So you are arrested, you post bail, they can not convict, arrest is just bluff or threats to keep you quiet.
    I agree file an appeal.
    nashmetal100's Avatar
    nashmetal100 Posts: 12, Reputation: 3
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    #7

    Sep 23, 2018, 03:15 PM
    Thanks. Sounds good
    Oliver2011's Avatar
    Oliver2011 Posts: 2,606, Reputation: 746
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    #8

    Sep 24, 2018, 03:57 AM
    Really? All this over a video? I would file this one under the Pick Your Battles file. Is it worth the time and expenses or should you just move on? There are other beaches that aren't private.
    nashmetal100's Avatar
    nashmetal100 Posts: 12, Reputation: 3
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    #9

    Sep 24, 2018, 05:10 AM
    But there was footage of the cop acting unorthodox and I wanted to use it against him in court if I make an appeal. And also, the camera is mighty expensive.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 53,915, Reputation: 10852
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    #10

    Sep 24, 2018, 11:35 AM
    It's not easy or cheap to fight city hall anywhere my friend and likely your camera will be returned to you in due time depending on the local laws. That could be a while. Hope your appeal goes well, and maybe you have a newspaper in your town you could talk to? I don't know how much heck you can raise, but be aware those corrupt types don't take kindly to being called out and you are basically out numbered and at a distinct disadvantage at least short term, and that ASSUMES what you say is true.

    By chance is your camera tied to your ability to work or make money?
    Oliver2011's Avatar
    Oliver2011 Posts: 2,606, Reputation: 746
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    #11

    Sep 24, 2018, 12:04 PM
    Ohhhh. I wasn't associating the video was tied to the camera for some reason. It must be because it's a Monday morning and the weekend was over. Anyway...

    I still think this is much to do about nothing. In my world being negative or getting even or however you would classify this takes a lot of negative energy. I try to stick to positive thinking and acts as much as possible. But then again, I don't live in New Jersey.
    nashmetal100's Avatar
    nashmetal100 Posts: 12, Reputation: 3
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    #12

    Sep 25, 2018, 02:27 PM
    It isn't tied to work, it's mainly just hobby. And I know what the local laws are but the police and courts are acting against them and even admitting to it.

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